The Bulls have been a title contender these past 2 seasons, not because of having multiple all-stars or superstars, and not because they were some Spurs type machine of a team. They have been a title contender because they combine a their superstar's transcendent talent with a deep front court that controls the paint defensively while grabbing every rebound in sight.
The news that the Bulls may not match Houston's ridiculous offer sheet has been met with a collective shrug from the majority of Bulls fans. This is a mistake and shows a lack of understanding of why the Bulls are so good. Contrary to popular belief, Omer Asik isn't just a goofy center with bad hands, he is the Bulls most versatile interior defender and their best rebounder.
He is not perfect (he is truly a terrible offensive player) but without him they lose a key component to their biggest edge over other teams. Bulls fans like to think because the Bulls don't have an abundance of talented scorers they are somehow inferior to the Heat and Thunder, but the truth is the Bulls have an abundance of something just as valuable; terrific defenders. If the Bulls lose Omer they will still likely be a top 5 defensive team and still likely top 5 in rebounding too, but suddenly the gap between the Bulls defense and the Heats defense shrinks...if its there at all.
The Bulls became an excellent offensive team this season, better than the Heat in the regular season, but while I've never been a "the regular season doesn't matter the playoffs are completely different!!" guy, I do believe that the Heat having 2 elite offensive players gives them an edge on offense in a playoffs series, an edge that was neutralized by a superior Bulls defense.The Bulls shouldn't mess around with that edge unless they plan on acquiring an elite offensive talent again.
I know the money is crazy, but it will only be ridiculous for a year and by that time Booz and Deng could be off the books. Also the Bulls have made money hand over fist for quite awhile now while never paying the tax, it wouldn't bankrupt them to spend. I've been an optimist for the Bulls future, but if they lose Asik I'll be as gloomy as those who think Boozer is going to turn into Jermaine O'Neal next year and D-Rose is going to have the longest ACL surgery recovery period in recent history,